The G-Drive Mobile SSD is a straight-up sexy, high-performance storage device
posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 3:20 PM EDT
As a video editor, I'm regularly looking for a good portable hard drive that can serve a couple different purposes. Some I'm looking to box up and mail across the country to different marketing firms or editing companies, others I'm looking to carry with me when I have to leave the office but still need immediate and fast access to in-progress projects. In recent years, I've leaned heavily on different LaCie Rugged drives for both these tasks, but a new drive from G-Tech has taken over the latter task: The G-Drive Mobile SSD. With 500GB of SSD speeds through a USB-C connection, this little guy is so small it fits into a jacket pocket, but usually has enough storage capacity to handle whole video projects and allow me to work on them remotely directly into my MacBook Pro. I say that like it's a rare experience and, unfortunately, it kind of is.
Recently I flew to Las Vegas for a tradeshow, WPPI, but I was also in the process of working on a testimonial project for a tech company here in San Francisco. Not sure if I would need to tweak the project while I was out for a week, I opted to transfer the whole thing to the G-Drive Mobile. For video, I need something that can handle the data transfer speeds necessary to not get frustrated, even when I'm working with proxy files. In this specific case, I was toting around the original files in full 4K because we were so close to exporting a finished project, so having a high speed drive on hand was even more important.
As a note, I have several drives that would have worked for this project, except most weren't USB-C compatible, and none of them were Thunderbolt 3 compatible that had this much capacity. Given that my mobile workstation is a 2017 MacBook Pro, having something fast, with a lot of storage capacity, that also connects directly to my computer was what I was primarily looking for (no #donglelife).
The G-Drive Mobile SSD is not only small, but it's also one of the best-looking drives I've ever encountered. C'mon, this thing is sexy as hell:
It's also what G-Tech calls "rugged," as it can withstand a three meter drop, has a 1000 pound crushproof rating, and is IP67 water resistant. I generally don't put any of my hard drives near anything that would come close to situations where I would be grateful for that kind of protection, but it's always nice to know the protection is there, right?
I think what's most attractive about this drive is that it is SSD. Being a drive with no moving parts, G-Tech was able to make it much smaller than you would expect of drives with this much capacity and you don't have to worry about shock or vibration damaging it while it is in use.
G-Tech rates the G-Drive Mobile SSD at 560MB/s transfer speeds, which is extremely fast and generally more than you need for just about any conventional uses. In our testing, we found it to never quite reach the speeds promised, but it does do well.
Aside from the abysmally poor performance with a Thunderbolt 3 cable (seriously, don't use a T3 cable with this thing), the speeds look good, though short of the promsied 560 MB/s. In fact... If you've been following storage reviews here on Imaging Resource, those results and specifications might look... similar. Eerily similar. It's because they're pretty much on par with testing we did on another G-Tech product: the G-Drive Slim.
That makes sense, as the G-Drive Mobile is a redesigned and rehoused body for what looks to be the same interior SSD hardware, at least based on the test results. The numbers are not identical, they rarely are in any speed test, but they are close. If you liked the G-Drive Slim like I did, then the G-Drive Mobile is a sexier version of that drive. The Slim also only offers 500GB capacity, while the Mobile offers two sizes above that.
Speaking of capacity, his thing can hold a ton. I have the smallest capacity at 500GB, but it also comes in 1 or 2 terabytes if you need even more space.
The 500GB is one of the best deals I've seen for something like this, coming in at a cool $180. The 1TB gets a lot more expensive at $350, and the 2TB is way up there at $750. Most of you probably will find the 500GB to be enough storage, and at that price it's hard to argue with it. For those who need more space, it's nice to know that there are options.
I'm used to reviewing storage devices from major brands featuring huge warranties (this one comes with a ridiculous 5 year warranty!) with the caveat that though the product is awesome, it's expensive.
That is absolutely not the case here.
The G-Drive Mobile SSD is an awesome deal at 500GB for $180 (same as the Slim was). Sure, the higher capacities may leave you a bit shell shocked at the price, but the base model is one of the best deals in storage I've ever seen. It's way cheaper than the $300 LaCie Rugged SSD with the same storage capacity, and is smaller and offers nearly the same features but with faster published transfer speeds than its orange competitor.
I think the $180 is even more palatable now that the drive just looks so darn good. The Slim was fine, but the Mobile is a beautiful object. I'm really happy with what G-Tech has done here.
- Beautiful product that that not only feels good in hand, but looks great on your desk
- Fast, with sustained read speeds of over 519 MB/s and write speeds of over 385 MB/s
- USB-C connectivity, but works with Type-C-to-A connectors to offer nearly the same performance (it even ships with a C-to-A cable)
- Three capacities: 500GB, 1TB and 2TB
- Affordable: just $180 for the 500GB capacity
- Does not reach the quoted read speeds from G-Tech
- Thunderbolt 3 cables give hilariously pitiful performance. Seriously, don't use them with this drive.
- Comes pre-formatted for Mac, but can be reformatted for Windows
- Only works with Mac OS 10.10+ and Windows 10, 8.1, 7 (via aforementioned reformat)
- Bus-powered, so it doesn't require additional power
I was already a fan of G-Tech's mobile drive solutions, but this redesign has me picking them over anyone else right now. The G-Drive Mobile SSD is not only fast and reliable, it's simultaneously the most low profile and straight up sexy portable drive I've ever used. Keep whoever came up with this redesign on the payroll G-Tech, because it's excellent.